How Long After Rabies Vaccine Is It Effective In Dogs (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 week

Keeping dogs as pets is a quite common practice these days. It is surprising to know that this practice was first heard of around 9000 years ago. As per estimates, the domestication timeline has been so irregular that no research has come to a conclusion yet. The reason behind petting dogs is mainly their loyal nature.

It is widely believed that dogs are the best friends of our species. With time, their species has also undergone certain mutations to stay away from diseases. While having a dog at home has its own ups and downs, the furry friend needs to be vaccinated timely.

How Long After Rabies Vaccine Is It Effective In Dogs

How Long After Rabies Vaccine Is It Effective In Dogs?

As far as health issues are concerned, dogs are more prone to rabies than other mammals. In simple words, it is a viral disease that affects the nervous system in the first instance. Therefore, it is essential to follow a regular vaccination schedule for the pet.

Once a dog is afflicted with rabies, it can get transmitted easily to fellow dogs and humans as well. The medium of transmission is saliva, while traces are transferred through bites as well. Though there are a lot of medicines available, the disease has no real and efficient cure as of now.

Since prevention is always better than cure, pet owners should not ignore the vaccination routine even once. No one should take the pet’s health for granted. Symptoms are visible quite late and no solution is completely effective after that. The first dose is administered once the pup is three months old.

It takes around seven days to show its effect. The effect might not be directly visible in certain cases, but the internal work begins immediately. As the dog develops immunity, the subsequent doses work a bit late. Like other vaccines, this one is also a small amount of inactivated rabies virus.

Therefore, every shot administered after the first one takes around fourteen to twenty-one days. In case the routine is not adhered to with due diligence, the duration might vary. The vet will surely guide the owner regarding this.

In Summary:

First dose1 week
Booster dose3 weeks

Why Does It Take So Long For Rabies Vaccine To Be Effective In Dogs?

The difference in duration depends upon the innate immune system of the dog. Since the disease is a bit slow to recognize, the vaccination is formulated with fast-acting technology. Therefore, the time it takes to get effective is determined solely by the creation of antibodies. The process is the same as humans.

A slight difference is that the owner will have to make out from the pet’s external behavior as the visible effects are not easy to understand. The overall health might be slightly affected as the animal’s body considers the vaccine as the actual disease and the fight mode is switched on instantly.

An increase in body temperature is the first sign of vaccine efficacy. The intensity of these visible signs will be reduced after the booster dose is administered to the pet. Other factors which affect this duration are breed and age. Certain breeds are immune naturally thanks to the genetic mutations with time.

While this is just an added bonus, one should still not skip vaccination. Within three years of a single shot, the rabies prevention capacity begins to droop gradually. This makes it even more essential to stick to the timeline proposed by the vet.

In case the dog shows more after effects like staying idle, changes in mood or appetite, and loss in weight, keep a check. One more visit to the vet might be necessary. Overall, the efficacy will be normalized within three weeks in normal cases. The complications are quite exaggerated in case the dog gets vaccinated after acquiring the disease.


Apart from nutrition and lodging, health care is equally important. Though the owner might think that all the needs are being fulfilled, the pet needs regular attention from the vet as well. After the vaccination procedure is over, the dog and all the other family members are safe.

In spite of proper training, the animals might show their natural instinct at times, which is to bite. Vaccinated dogs do not spread the disease to their human counterparts. Once the shot is effective, the owner can be absolutely sure about the safety of his/her furry friend.



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